Seventeen Students Join the Doctor of Education Program

The Doctor of Education (EdD) program is proud to announce that 17 students have just joined our fifth cohort in the EdD program. They are the first to take advantage of the recent revisions to the EdD program beginning Fall 2020. The program has also just released newsletter, which contains updates to the EdD program, new and alumni student profiles, academic journals, upcoming conferences and more. 

Go to the EdD website to access the newsletter.

The School of Education welcomes the fifth cohort in the EdD program. Read more about their areas of interest and study below.

Amanda Barton


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MA Elementary Administration & Supervision (Southeast Missouri State), BS in Education in Exceptional Child (Southeast Missouri State)

Research interests: Post-Secondary transition opportunities for individuals with higher academic achievement with phasing mobility and communicative or assistive technology obstacles.



Anne Browning


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: Master’s in Contemporary Sociology (University of York-UK) and a Bachelor’s in English and Communication (SLU)

Research interests: How international experiences and transformative high-impact experiences are educational and beneficial for students. Looking at global experiences, even short-term experiences in high-impact experiences (example: going into a culture one has never experienced before) can be an important learning experience. How people use stories to express and explain those experiences and changes/transformations.

Trezette Dixon


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MEd in Secondary Education/Adult Education (University of Missouri: St. Louis), Bachelor’s in Speech Communication (University of Missouri: St. Louis)

Research interests: Racial equity, systematic barriers, and the impact of internships on career success. The correlation between unpaid internships and the racial wealth gap.  Women as the emerging underrepresented group of paid interns.  

Kerri Fair


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MA in Reading Education (University of Missouri: Kansas City), BS in Elementary Education (William Jewell College)

Research interests: (Transformative Learning) Teaching practices in general and providing different practices. Interested in videoing teaching, using video to connect urban, rural, and suburban teachers to implement new practices.   

Vincent Flewellen


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: Master of Social Work (Washington University) and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education (Maryville)

Research interests: Chief Diversity Officers and those in roles responsible for helping to lead an organization around DEI work who are also black. How often do we get to show up fully in our identity in helping predominantly white institutions and organizations around critical conversations about race? How comfortable are we and how supported are we within those and by those institutions and administrators in really having honest conversations around race and how can we push them? Focusing on higher education, corporations, and nonprofits.  

Jim Fuller


Emphasis Area: Teaching English as a Second Language 

Degrees obtained/institutions: MA TESL (Webster) and Master’s in Educational Technology (Webster), and Bachelor’s in Film Production.

Research interests: Qualitative study asking educators what they think may increase and decrease MSGs (measurable skill gains) for students taking the TOEFL, the community college equivalent of TOEFL, and Best Plus. Ask teachers what they think attributes to students making gains on the tests. 

Jessica Hanses


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MA in Media Literacy (Webster), and BA in Sociology (Webster)

Research interests: Media literacy in an ESL classroom, how the implementation of a media literacy curriculum creates authenticity in an ESL classroom. How media literacy can diffuse the feeling of cultural and linguistic “otherness” in an ESL classroom.

Chavon Hopgood


Emphasis Area: Educational Leadership

Degrees obtained/institutions: EdS in Educational Leadership (Webster), MA in Elementary Education (UMSL), BA in Mass Communications (SIUE) 

Research interests: Leading through trauma, an exploration of social justice and social-emotional learning skills and best practices for urban education/urban communities. 

Courtney Jilek


Emphasis Area: Special Education: Severe Developmental Disabilities and Autism

Degrees obtained/institutions: Master’s in Teaching (Webster) and a Bachelor’s in Psychology (Columbia College) 

Research interests: School to home connection specifically for students with moderate to severe disabilities. COVID-19 opened up the home life of students and how teachers could bridge the gap of communication.  

John Link


Emphasis Area: Educational Leadership

Degrees obtained/institutions: Master’s in Educational Technology (Webster), Master’s in Mathematics Education (East Carolina University), and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education (Indiana State University)

Research interests: How do first generation college students make decisions about majors and what influences are impacting their decisions which will stay with them for a very long time. Influences of personality on career decision making, do personality preferences have any sort of influence on career pathways. Looking at bias in academic and career counseling and how advising can have a tremendous impact based off personal biases that educators may have when working individually with students. Correlation to bias when teachers are engaging with students in a lecture format, are they asking higher order thinking questions to students who they believe are intellectually higher order thinking using a revised Bloom’s Taxonomy model framework and understanding where the students’ abilities are.   

Katherine O’Connor


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MA in Media Literacy (Webster) and a Bachelor’s in Psychology (Webster)

Research interests: Looking at the correlation of students who are of biracial descent and how they see themselves represented in 20th century and 21st century history in education and in the media. How this shapes their world view. 


Jennifer Ono


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: Master’s in English Language Learning (Western Governors University) and a Bachelor’s in Education (Eastern Illinois University)

Research interests: Impact of culturally responsive teaching curriculum. Best methods for teaching Social justice in the elementary setting. How do we provide equity for children who speak a non-identified language (example: African American Vernacular English or Hawaiian Pidgin), how do we provide those students with opportunities to maximize assessment.  

Tamara Rodney


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MA in TESL/Adult Education (Webster) and a Bachelor’s in English (Florida Atlantic University)

Research interests: Equity. Looking into what is called the achievement gap, then the opportunity gap, and now the equity or opportunity & equity gaps. Examining the "real" reasons & implications behind the performance of students of color in academic spaces, whether those spaces are PWI (predominantly white institutions) or otherwise. Using an equity lens to examine the historical impact of policies, etc. and what the impact of these policies tell us about the system of education we've constructed to date.

Melissa Schmuke


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MAT in Early Childhood Education (Webster) and a Bachelor’s in Education with a certificate in Multicultural Studies (MIZZOU)

Research interests: Socio-emotional well-being in schools. Particularly focusing on the lack of focus on socio-emotional well-being of students in inner-city schools. Why behaviors stem from this lack of focus on socio-emotional well-being, and the need for play and mindfulness in classrooms.



Jonathon Singler


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MA in Counseling Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies in Chess Education

Research interests: How chess improves academics in an accredited degree program. Looking at best practices at educational institutions. Qualitative interview with international chess organization.


Ashley Spencer


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: MA in TESL (Webster), Master’s in Elementary Education with Reading Specialization (UMSL), and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education (UMSL)

Research interests: How to honor culture and individuality while still fostering classroom community. Noticed the focus in classrooms veers towards coming together and discussing similarities and how to connect and a lack of focus on the individual. Creating cohesion and community can leave out individuality and home culture. 

Cheris Whitney


Emphasis Area: Transformative Learning in the Global Community

Degrees obtained/institutions: M.Ed. Education (Central Methodist University) and a BS in Elementary Education (Central Methodist University) 

Research interests: The transformation of classrooms around the world by demonstrating transformative methods and techniques that promote student engagement and motivation. A loving, dynamic learning environment promotes academic excellence and fosters leadership.

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